Faculty and Staff Directory

Melinda Higgins's picture

Mindy Higgins

Ms. Higgins came to Parker School in 1999 after five years teaching middle school science in her home state of Colorado. She has taught a variety of subjects and grade levels, with an emphasis on middle school science. In addition to being science department chair, she also coordinates Parker’s middle school science fair and Math Counts competition. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biological science from Colorado State University and completed the teacher licensure program at Fort Lewis College. She also has experience coaching high school volleyball and track and field. Ms. Higgins is active in the community and in her free time enjoys outdoor activities, especially ocean sports, biking and skiing. She lives in Waimea with her husband and two children. She says, “I believe in each individual's ability to succeed. This belief guides one of my major goals for students: to nurture their zest for learning. By providing a safe and stimulating environment, students develop confidence to ask questions, share information, and learn. Our classroom community is a place of respect so that students can excel emotionally, intellectually, and socially.”

808-885-7933 ext. 7132
Science Chair, Middle School Science Teacher, Middle & Upper School Math Teacher
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Ms. Higgins came to Parker School in 1999 after five years teaching middle school science in her home state of Colorado. She has taught a variety of subjects and grade levels, with an emphasis on middle school science. In addition to being science department chair, she also coordinates Parker’s middle school science fair and Math Counts competition. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biological science from Colorado State University and completed the teacher licensure program at Fort Lewis College. She also has experience coaching high school volleyball and track and field. Ms. Higgins is active in the community and in her free time enjoys outdoor activities, especially ocean sports, biking and skiing. She lives in Waimea with her husband and two children. She says, “I believe in each individual's ability to succeed. This belief guides one of my major goals for students: to nurture their zest for learning. By providing a safe and stimulating environment, students develop confidence to ask questions, share information, and learn. Our classroom community is a place of respect so that students can excel emotionally, intellectually, and socially.”

Matt Hamilton's picture

Matt Hamilton

After receiving his Ph.D. in physics from Colorado State University, where he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Dr. Hamilton started working for Parker School in January 2014. Originally from Colorado, he moved to the Big Island in 2011. He has worked as a tutor and with various outreach programs. In his spare time, Dr. Hamilton likes to tinker and build things as well as spend time outdoors, especially hiking or exploring. He and his wife have two daughters, one of whom attends Parker lower school.

808-885-7933 ext. 7111
Upper School Science and Math Teacher
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After receiving his Ph.D. in physics from Colorado State University, where he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Dr. Hamilton started working for Parker School in January 2014. Originally from Colorado, he moved to the Big Island in 2011. He has worked as a tutor and with various outreach programs. In his spare time, Dr. Hamilton likes to tinker and build things as well as spend time outdoors, especially hiking or exploring. He and his wife have two daughters, one of whom attends Parker lower school.

Susan Rickards's picture

Susan Rickards

Ms. Rickards, who joined the Parker School faculty in 2011, was born on O'ahu and has lived on Hawai'i Island since 1995. Her extensive experience in the field of marine biology includes four years researching and training bottlenose dolphins and field research on humpback whales through the University of Hawai'i and Cornell University. Her experience also includes three years in Far East Russia researching gray whales and two years on Midway Atoll as principal investigator of a spinner dolphin research project. Ms. Rickards serves as co-founder, co-principal investigator and board member of the Hawai'i Marine Mammal Consortium, a nonprofit researching marine mammals off the Kohala Coast. She holds her master’s degree in human and animal cognition and psychology from the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, and a bachelor’s in biology from Reed College. Ms. Rickards and her husband Billy have two children, both Parker School students. She describes her educational philosophy as "ever evolving and based on comfort, respect, intrinsic motivation, experiential learning and integration across fields." 

808-885-7933 ext. 7103
Middle & Upper School Math, Science and Hawaiian Studies Teacher
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Ms. Rickards, who joined the Parker School faculty in 2011, was born on O'ahu and has lived on Hawai'i Island since 1995. Her extensive experience in the field of marine biology includes four years researching and training bottlenose dolphins and field research on humpback whales through the University of Hawai'i and Cornell University. Her experience also includes three years in Far East Russia researching gray whales and two years on Midway Atoll as principal investigator of a spinner dolphin research project. Ms. Rickards serves as co-founder, co-principal investigator and board member of the Hawai'i Marine Mammal Consortium, a nonprofit researching marine mammals off the Kohala Coast. She holds her master’s degree in human and animal cognition and psychology from the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, and a bachelor’s in biology from Reed College. Ms. Rickards and her husband Billy have two children, both Parker School students. She describes her educational philosophy as "ever evolving and based on comfort, respect, intrinsic motivation, experiential learning and integration across fields." 

Holly Weigle's picture

Holly Weigle

Ms. Weigle earned her bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego. Before moving to the Big Island in 2004, she worked as a development engineer at a bioengineering firm in San Diego, focusing on cardiac medical devices. Prior to joining the Parker staff in 2008, Ms. Weigle served as a human resources coordinator at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and as a marketing consultant to MacArthur & Company Sotheby’s International Realty. Before becoming a full-time faculty member, she held the positions of advancement associate, marketing associate, webmaster, and math and science teacher at Parker. She enjoys running, playing tennis, reading, and going to the beach. Ms. Weigle and her husband Chad have three children, all currently attending Parker School.

808-885-7933 ext. 7118
Math Department Chair, Middle & Upper School Math & Science Teacher
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Ms. Weigle earned her bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego. Before moving to the Big Island in 2004, she worked as a development engineer at a bioengineering firm in San Diego, focusing on cardiac medical devices. Prior to joining the Parker staff in 2008, Ms. Weigle served as a human resources coordinator at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and as a marketing consultant to MacArthur & Company Sotheby’s International Realty. Before becoming a full-time faculty member, she held the positions of advancement associate, marketing associate, webmaster, and math and science teacher at Parker. She enjoys running, playing tennis, reading, and going to the beach. Ms. Weigle and her husband Chad have three children, all currently attending Parker School.